Scripture: Lectionary 419. August 19th. Judges 2:11-19. Psalm 106: 34-35,36-37, 39-40. Matthew 19:16-22:
In our history as human beings and in the history of salvation seen in the Bible, we learn there is a pattern in our relationship with God. It seems to follow these three steps: first, there is a great love and trust in God both as the community and nation of Israel had, then there is falling away from the covenants we have made with God, then we repent and return to the love and trust we had in God. Sin is at the bottom of this journey of life in all of us. The Bible helps us to see it more clearly and to continually return back to the love of God despite our sinful attachments which can be equated with the idols that we sometimes worship in place of God. The book of Judges points out this pattern in almost every chapter of this writing.
The liturgical choice of Psalm 106 fills out in a prayer form what the reading of Judges teaches us in the history of our journey with and away from God. We, however, cry out in prayer: “Lord, remember us for the love you bear your people.”
Matthew narrates the event in Jesus’ life where a young devout Pharisee comes to ask Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life. He has observed the paths toward God in the covenant and the commandments but wants to do more to be sure he is worthy of the kingdom of God and eternal life. Jesus invites him to come and follow him as the other disciples have done. He then will be joining in Jesus’ mission of doing God’s will by teaching, preaching, and driving out evil spirits. Unfortunately, because of the young man’s possessions he is unwilling to leave them. The text shows us how this affected him: “The young man went away sad, for his possessions were many.” I asked myself what must I leave aside in order to follow Jesus more closely. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.